St. Mary’s Belfast Restoration

belfast oldest church

Work to be done on the outside of the building includes the complete replacement of the main roof coverings and the repairing and re-pointing of walls and stonework, while new paving is to be installed in the grotto area, which is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes.

St Mary’s, in Chapel Lane in the city centre, will undergo both external and internal restoration between May and August but will be open as normal for the majority of that time.

It follows on from the first phase of development work on the church, which was completed in 2014.

In a message to parishioners in the weekly bulletin, the parish administrator, Fr James Boyle, wrote: “I wish to confirm….that the proposed external refurbishment and internal redecoration of the Church will commence on Monday 8th May and is due to be completed by Friday 18th August.”

Restoration work will be carried out on both the inside and outside of the church, lasting from May to August. Picture by Hugh Russell
The main walls and ceilings inside the church, where Mass was first celebrated in 1784, will also be cleaned down and repainted.

Fr Boyle wrote: “The external work will not cause any disruption to the daily operation of the Church, however, the internal redecoration will result in the main Church being closed for a period which will not exceed three weeks.

“The relevant dates will be confirmed ASAP at which time we will clarify the alternative arrangements for daily celebration of Masses.”